After the extended Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme) ends on 15 March 2022, Victorian landlords and tenants will still have access to the Victorian Small Business Commission’s (VSBC) support.
Although tenants will no longer be entitled to rent relief, tenants and landlords will still have the option of talking with each other about their situation and trying to negotiate and agree on relief going forward.
Where they can’t agree, either the tenant or landlord will be able to apply to the VSBC for free and impartial help to resolve the matter.
Accessing help under the Scheme
If a tenant has made a compliant rent relief request and supplied evidence to their landlord under the Scheme, either the tenant or landlord will still be able to apply to us for free help to resolve their dispute under the Scheme.
Asking for relief and negotiating ‘in good faith’
If a tenant is still under financial pressure after the Scheme ends, they will have the option of trying to negotiate a new rent relief agreement with their landlord in good faith.
- communicating with each other honestly and fairly with a real want to reach agreement
- behaving in an open and transparent way
- providing accurate information – and enough of it – to support negotiations.
It is important to remember that the landlord is not required to provide rent relief after the Scheme ends.
How we can help
If negotiation doesn’t result in a fair agreement or the tenant or landlord refuses to negotiate, either party will be able to apply for our free help.
Our help includes assistance early on – often just over the phone – and if the matter can’t be resolved this way, we can arrange a free mediation session. This is where an independent and experienced professional (the mediator) helps the tenant and landlord to reach an agreement that they can both accept.
Before mediation, we encourage tenants and landlords to think about:
- the outcome they’re after
- what might be important to the other party
- compromises they’re prepared to consider.